The Polaroid Cube was brilliant and I wish it was still a thing. There, I said it.
I know I'm not alone in this thinking. The Polaroid Cube, despite not exactly rivaling the best GoPros (opens in new tab) or topping anyone's list of the best action cameras (opens in new tab), really was a fun and funky photo device.
Which, I guess, is the brand in a nutshell. The best Polaroid cameras (opens in new tab) are less about being the best actual imaging devices and more about being the ones that are the most fun to actually use.
That was certainly the case with the Polaroid Cube. A perfect cube measuring one-and-a-half inches square, it came in three colors (which I'm going to call "Blazin' Red", "Icecube Blue" and "Midnight Noir") each emblazoned with the Polaroid Spectrum stripe logo. This wasn't a camera that looked like any other.
It looked more like a Lumecube (opens in new tab) or Joby Beamo (opens in new tab) – fellow pocket-sized, sugar cube-looking groovy gadgets – than it did a GoPro or any other action camera. Just to look at it made you want to fiddle with it, and more importantly want to start using it.
Its 2.36mm f/2.0 lens had a 124° field of view (roughly akin to GoPro's Medium mode), capable of capturing up to 1080p 30p video and 6MP stills – or, with the newer Polaroid Cube+, up to 1440p and 8MP still images.
It and was splashproof out of the box, though not fully waterproof without a dedicated housing. So far, so ordinary… until you turn it upside-down and look at the bottom.
This is where you found a big fat magnet instead of a wacky and complicated camera mount. Of course, you could get little rigs to affix it to the best GoPro accessories (opens in new tab), but having a built-in (and very powerful) magnet meant that you could just slap this onto any magnetic surface, such as your car bonnet, and start shooting. Pure genius.
The issue was that the image and video quality wasn't the best. There was a general lack of sharpness, the Jell-O effect could be pretty nauseating, and the inability to shoot 60p even in 720p was disappointing.
As a concept, though, the Polaroid Cube was – and is – brilliant. And I'd love to see a guns-blazing (or even Red Guns Blazin') follow-up, if anyone fancies sending a politely worded email to Polaroid's customer service team for me.